Sometimes, you’re in the zone, DPSing away, firing off each rune as it refreshes, critting left and right, and then WHAM you die from exploding plants/exploding hot iron golems/void zones/fire/ice/green goop/lightning. This is never fun. Lissanna over at Restokin has written up a great post about how healers can avoid “tunnel vision” (focusing on one element of a fight, such as DPS, and ignoring all other dangerous things/misc. assignments), and suggested it as a Blog Azeroth Shared Topic. Interestingly enough, Death Knights can suffer a similar fate to healers, namely becoming focused solely on bars (rune refresh bars rather than the raid’s health bars).
Most DKs I know use some kind of rune mod, whether it be MagicRunes (my mod of choice) or another one. As a result, we can get trapped in looking at the rune timers rather than what’s lighting your feet on fire.
As you can see in the screenshot of my UI, I try to put all the pertinent information near where my character hangs out on the screen. My rune display is also fairly transparent, so it doesn’t block much of the screen. My raid frames (Grid) go over there on the left, where the little red box is. My disease timers (Classtimers) hang out under the rune bars, and DBM timers go on the right of my character. I have Omen in the bottom right because I rarely need to check my threat (the exception is Hodir). My scrolling combat text (Mik’s Scrolling Battle Text) has all messages (debuffs, buffs, etc.) shoot off to the left or right so it doesn’t block the view of my character, which is the most important thing on your screen in a raid.
I have my action bars scaled down a lot and right at the bottom of the screen because I really don’t need to look at them very often. Everything I need to use in combat is bound to various keys (the only spells not bound are things like Path of Frost) and my combat text lets me know when my abilities come off their cooldowns. To get back on topic, I’ve set up my UI so I don’t have to look far from the middle to get pertinent information. And on the occasion where I do need to check my raid frames, or my focus frame (which goes right above the raid frame) I have a lot of things in that area so I don’t have to dart my eyes around the screen frantically searching for bits of information.
So a few tips:
- Gather all related information together in one area (for me this means right to the left of my character I can see my disease timers, buff timers [for stuff like KM, Freezing Fog and trinket procs] and rune timers)
- Make sure no mod will hide your character from view (you need to always know where you are in an encounter, especially for fights like Thorim and Sarth, where wrong footing can make you go splat)
- Try your best not to get too absorbed in your rune timers; always listen to Vent (if you use it), pay attention to DBM and other messages from the boss
- Play with your UI options until it feels right – if you think you need more information, it’s likely you can set your mods up to give you that (I recently set oRA to notify me of tank deaths). If you need less, scale it down (an example from my UI: I set my MSBT (Mik’s Scrolling Battle Text) to only notify me of hits/heals taken over a certain threshold; for healing, it’s 4000, for damage, it’s around 2k. This helps keep my screen clutter free, especially if I get a Lifebloom or two going on me.
Edit: Here’s a picture of my UI in combat. I really need to set my macro up to ignore errors so I don’t see “ABILITY IS NOT READY YET” flashing all the time.